IAMT’s Action Plan for Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppressive Practices

The Illinois Association of Music Therapy has a duty to respond to the most recent act of racial injustice and all continuing modes of racism, violence, and inequity that continues to abide within our institutions and society. We strongly condemn all of the rhetoric and actions steeped in anti-black racism, white supremacism, and prejudices that continue to abide in this country and contributed to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless other victims. 

We recognize that our tenacity to respond to such injustices cannot and must not be a temporal show of solidarity, but a continued endeavor to identify our own prejudices and biases, and to educate ourselves on the racial injustices and disparities that continue to thrive. This will include providing resources to both veteran and new professionals on how to effectively address these issues, and utilize our resources to support and/or implement effective solutions to enhance equity and inclusion within our practices, our association, and by extent our clients and society at large.  We take it upon ourselves to listen with openness to our colleagues and clients within the BIPOC communities, to become better aware of our own prejudices, assumptions, and biases, and to amplify the voices of BIPOC colleagues and clients. We acknowledge that the majority of the individuals on this board and within the music therapy profession are white. This whiteness has permeated the conversation within music therapy and has often come at the expense of black and brown voices. As we share our action steps and ways to move forward, we must also acknowledge that we will likely make mistakes. When that happens, we will admit our faults, learn from them, and do better the next time.

As board certified music therapists we are obligated to uphold our behavior according to our code of ethics which includes our dedication to kindness, social responsibility, dignity and respect, equality, accountability, excellence, integrity, and courage. We are utilizing these principles to make purposeful and actionable steps toward anti-racism, allyship, and equity for all. As we continue to listen to our BIPOC colleagues and clients, we would like to begin by offering the following list of resources to our colleagues and the public for consideration and education; we will be adding to this list as we collectively learn and as new resources become available. 

Anti-Racism Trainings: Diversity and Resiliency Institute of El Paso – Free Anti-Racism Training (or $45 for CEU’s) (available 8/1/20 through 8/31/20) Sign up is open now!

  • IAMT has created a forum specifically for music therapists who attend this meeting to discuss the knowledge gained, ask questions, formulate action steps they can take, and discuss how the information applies to their clinical practice. This forum can be found here or through the above tab called “Forums.”

Free anti-oppressive resource guide created by music therapists for music therapy professionals and students. This guide includes: podcasts, faith-based resources, TEDx Talks on social justice, music and social justice, movies, books, and reflections & writing prompts. The guide can be found here.

We invite you to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture website to find tools and guidance on how to discuss race and foster “thoughtful, respectful and productive conversations.” This thorough guide includes specific tools for educators and parents/caregivers as well as the general public and you can access it here.

In addition, we are committing to regularly donate funds to organizations that specifically support BIPOC communities and BIPOC music therapy professionals, students, and clients.  

To begin, we will be making a donation to the Black in America Therapy Fund. Created by a non-profit in the Quad Cities of Illinois, the Black In America Therapy Fund is designed to ease the financial burden of therapy sessions for the Black community members of the Quad-Cities who have experienced racial trauma. Information on donations and how to apply can be found at the following link: https://www.connectionqc.org/therapyfund 

We will also be donating funds to the Austic People of Color Fund which provides direct financial support to autistic people of color through individual microgrants between $100 to $500.  Information on donations and how to apply can be found at the following link: https://autismandrace.com/autistic-people-of-color-fund/faqs/

We would also like to take this time to announce that we will be dedicating our Fall 2020 CMTE to fostering allyship, increasing awareness and education on multiculturalism as it applies to the music therapy profession.

The Illinois Association for Music Therapy is committed to listening, learning, and making conscious, positive changes in our practice, profession, and communities. For any inquiries or responses, please contact the executive board email at iamtexecboard@gmail.com.

Posted June 15, 2020